NBA free agency 2019: 10 players Warriors could target to help next season

NBA free agency 2019: 10 players Warriors could target to help next season

NBA free agency is less than a week away, the Warriors find themselves under unique circumstances. 

Their top two free agent targets -- Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant -- will be rehabbing career-altering injuries that could keep them out all, not most of next season. 

If both re-sign, the Warriors will be well over the luxury tax, meaning they'll only have a tax payer's mid-level exception and veteran minimum deals to hand out when free agency starts June 30.

Despite their salary-cap situation, some intriguing free agents could be had in Golden State's price range. To get you ready for free agency, here's a list of potential options for the Warriors. 


How Warriors' salary-cap expert played pivotal role in NBA free agency

How Warriors' salary-cap expert played pivotal role in NBA free agency

Few people were busier at the onset of NBA free agency than David Kelly.

Kelly, Golden State's general counsel and vice president of legal basketball affairs, serves as the team's salary-cap expert. Once Kevin Durant informed the Warriors he was going to join the Brooklyn Nets when the free-agency moratorium began on June 30, Kelly had to get to work. 

“Everything has to be in order,” Kelly told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson in a feature published Tuesday. “[Warriors general manager Bob Myers'] big thing is, ‘If you’re telling me this is right, be right. When you say it’s right, be right. I need to know that you’re on top of this.’ So you have to know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. And it’s true with this stuff even more than a lot of things because the rules, they’re not intuitive. Sometimes you wonder, ‘Why is it that you can’t use this or that?’ It doesn’t necessarily make sense. But if you trip it, that’s a wrap.”

As Thompson outlines, Kelly had to navigate the convoluted maze of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement in order to ensure the Warriors were cap-compliant. It wasn't so simple as signing-and-trading for D'Angelo Russell, re-signing Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney, adding Willie Cauley-Stein and parting ways with veterans Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. For Kelly, the sequence of moves mattered more than the moves themselves. 

For instance, Kelly told Thompson that the Warriors could not sign second-round picks Alen Smailagić and Eric Paschall until after the Russell sign-and-trade was finished. Since both players ultimately were signed using the mid-level exception in order to retain their Bird Rights, the Warriors couldn't sign them until the Russell deal was official. The Warriors wouldn't have been able to do a sign-and-trade otherwise, which Kelly realized when dotting 'i's' and crossing 't's.'

“That was like, ‘Whoa. Wait a minute. Hold the presses. Slow everything down,’" Kelly told Thompson. "And it’s not like the deal almost blew up. But it’s a moment where, if you aren’t as diligent, that’s what happens. This is how things get screwed up. And there might have been a way to get around it. But we don’t even want to go down that road.”

[RELATED: Will Paschall be an instant contributor for Dubs next season?]

The Warriors "circled Russell as an option months earlier when mapping out the potential scenarios" in free agency, according to Thompson. The transaction that caught NBA fans off guard more than any other on the first day of free agency resulted from long-term planning and quickly came to light in part because of that planning.

But Kelly's diligence allowed it to come to fruition. 

NBA rumors: Lakers leaving final roster spot open for Andre Iguodala

NBA rumors: Lakers leaving final roster spot open for Andre Iguodala

After Kawhi Leonard left them at the altar to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers filled out the rest of their roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis with a host of solid veterans like DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green and Avery Bradley. 

While the Lakers' current roster makes a lot more sense than last season's iteration, Rob Pelinka reportedly is leaving the final spot on his roster open for a guy he believes can be an "X-factor" for the Lakers.

That player is Andre Iguodala, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

"There are no regrets about the way they pursued Kawhi Leonard," McMenamin said Tuesday on "SportsCenter." "Now, they have a roster they feel happy about. They feel good about the way they were able to build post-Kawhi, getting Danny Green, getting a guy like DeMarcus Cousins, bringing back some continuity from last season, but leaving a roster spot open to potentially get Andre Iguodala if he is bought out of his $17.2 million deal.

"A 2015 Finals MVP, a guy who was repped by Lakers GM Rob Pelinka when he was an agent, and a guy who just as recently as Game 6 of the NBA Finals, dropped 22 points, almost bringing it back to Toronto. They feel like he could be an X-factor type of guy to add with the group they already have."

Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, was traded by the Warriors to the Memphis Grizzlies in order to be able to clear enough cap space for the Dubs to be able to complete the sign-and-trade that netted them D'Angelo Russell in exchange for Kevin Durant and a first-round draft pick. 

The Grizzlies reportedly have no plans to buy out the veteran swingman, hoping instead to swap him to a contender for assets. If the Grizzlies do buy out Iguodala either before the season begins or shortly thereafter, he should have no shortage of suitors for his services, including the Rockets and aforementioned Clippers.

[RELATED: Outsider Observations: Ranking best quartets in new West]

If the Lakers somehow land Iguodala, it would be yet another perfect complementary piece alongside James and Davis.

As for the Warriors, the five-time defending Western Conference champions are hoping the combination fo Steph Curry, Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell can keep them in the West hunt until Klay Thompson can return from injury.

If both the Lakers and Warriors make the playoffs (they should), it's hard not to imagine what it would be like for Iguodala to face his old mates now looking to help James secure another ring instead of trying to derail his title quest.